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Line-Up: Jimmy Whispers (live)
Fast forward to today, Jimmy Whispers is alive and kicking in sunny Los Angeles. He’s still cranking out tunes, now dabbling in music videos and writing hits for Drugdealer and Dent May. He’s sober, on a mission to create uplifting art, and rocking a ’88 Buick Reatta. Picture this: vintage synths, a drum machine, and even a janky karaoke machine thrown into the mix! It’s like Midwest emo collided with Beach Boys vibes, had a fling with hyper-pop, and danced the night away with early aughts radio classics. This pop concoction is so wild it defies labels!
A lot has changed for everyone over the 8 years since Jimmy Whispers released his debut LP, especially for Jimmy himself. In another lifetime, he was that sweet kid from Chicago who stole our hearts with his aw-shucks Midwestern attitude and his knack for writing catchy old-time melodies. Legendary critic Jessica Hopper once called him the city’s “greatest new homegrown musical enigma,” and he turned a mixtape of iPhone voice memos (Summer in Pain) into a profound racket, that saw him perform at the Pitchfork Music Festival and earn praise from that outlet and places like Stereogum, Spin, BrooklynVegan, VICE, NME, and many others. If you caught a glimpse, it was exciting, but it was just a warm-up to his second act. As for today, Jimmy Whispers is alive and well in Los Angeles. He’s still making music—quite a lot of it. He’s got a blossoming new career as a music video director and filmmaker. He’s become a co-writer for others including Drugdealer and Dent May. He’s got his sobriety, a new commitment to making life-affirming art, and a 1988 Buick Reatta. Jimmy Whispers has returned with a new LP The Search For Godout June 9th on Carpark Records. His first since his 2015 debut, the album was co-produced by Ziyad Asrar of the band Whitney, and returns to some jewel-box era teen influences out of step with the chill/lo-fi LA indie rock scene he’s found himself lumped in with.
The Search for God is a wake-up call for a troubled world that’s still worth saving, animated by a belief in the power of small connections to add up to big changes. Jimmy Whispers’ sophomore album was created mostly with two vintage synths, a drum machine, and a busted karaoke machine. It channels Midwestern emo, the Beach Boys’ Smile, subtle nods at hyper-pop production and forgotten jewel-box era college radio of the early aughts into a pure pop sound that transcends easy categorization.